Charles Infinger, Enrolled Agent
On Sept 18, 2008, the federal government declared portions of Texas and Louisiana a presidential disaster area qualifying for individual aid. The IRS is giving taxpayers in the affected areas until early 2009 to file certain returns and make certain tax payments.
The relief postpones the following deadline until Jan. 5, 2009:
- The requirement to file individual tax returns by Oct. 15, 2008;
- The requirement to file individual estimated tax returns, partnership returns, estate and trust returns, corporate tax returns, employment, and certain excise tax returns that either had an original or extended deadline on or after Sept. 7, 2008; and
- The requirement to make certain tax payments such as estimated payments.
IRS computer systems automatically identify taxpayers in the covered areas and apply the filing and payment relief. Affected taxpayers outside the disaster area must call the IRS Disaster Hotline at 1-866-562-5277 to request tax relief.
If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest or penalties that would otherwise apply.
Affected taxpayers who are contacted by the IRS on a collection or examination matter should explain how the disaster affects them so the IRS can provide appropriate consideration to their case.
Taxpayers in the affected area also have the option of claiming disaster-related casualty losses on their federal tax returns for 2008, or they can claim them for 2007 by filing an amended return.
For additional information on disaster assistance and emergency relief, visit www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=156138,00.html.
Charles Infinger is an Enrolled Agent for JK Harris and Company, LLC. He has been an EA since 2006. He is a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the South Carolina Chapter of Enrolled Agents.